By Morayo Bakare

Tattoos are not new. One must remember also that they aren’t famous now, they are trendy now. They should be a simple form of self-expression and yet, they are a danger to aspiring models everywhere. A man or woman may not land a job because he or she has tattoos and other times, he or she won’t get a job without them. Just depends on the work. As a result of a lot of old world foundations and institutions still present in the modeling world, becoming a fashion model may require one to adhere to some unwritten rules about tattoos.


Those with a large number of tattoos or large sized tattoos will find less paying work as models. Clients simply don’t want models to compete with their products. A model is a prop; the product is the star of the shoot. Picture a model with a full side dragon tattoo posing in Victoria Secret underwear. What is the focus? Not the lingerie, most likely. Consumers are the same way. People who love tattoos will be enamored by the tattoos, while those opposed will be looking judge. No one is paying any attention to Victoria’s Secret’s new cute bra and panty set. The winner in this situation is not the company that paid for the production crew, model, and advertisement. This begs the question: what do mainstream companies get out of tatted models?


A model with lots of tattoos should just aim for tattooed modeling jobs. Having large amounts of ink simply means it’s necessary to pitch to a different market. Work can be found from places such as tattoo magazines and alternative websites.


A discreet little tattoo on easily hidden parts of the body will not be noticeable. With miniature tattoos, modeling work can still be found in fashion and commercial work, since these can be easily covered. A good example is Adriana Lima, one of the most recognized faces in the world today. She has one tattoo which is on her right ankle and still makes a ton of money.


Two to three tattoos that are bigger than the size of a fist, but do not cover the entirety of a section of the body put an aspiring model in a predicament. With these sorts of tattoos, a model’s career can either go down the road of alternative modeling or intermittent mainstream work geared away from the tatted section of the body. It really depends on the type of work being sought and willing clients.


Having tattoos doesn’t necessarily mean no career in modeling. Assuming a potential model fits all the typical requirements of height, age, and others, heavy tattooing may ruin his or her chances. Which is more important: modeling or a tattoo? It is pertinent to bear in mind that the modeling world is primarily for the young and, chances are, by the age of 26, one’s career may well be over. This leaves plenty of time to get tattooed then.